What is Oppositional Defiant Disorder?

Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) is characterized by ongoing hostility, defiant and uncooperative behavior from your child. Children with ODD will often have a hard time maintaining respectful and healthy relationships with teachers, parents and other figures of authority. Learn more about Oppositional Defiant Disorder from the pediatricians at AGC Pediatrics.

What is Oppositional Defiant Disorder?

It is not unusual for children to defy their parents, throw tantrums or be disobedient – especially in their terrible “two’s!” However, when this behavior lasts on an ongoing basis for more than six months, it may mean that the child has Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD).

ODD is a condition in which the child displays an excessive and ongoing pattern of defiant, hostile, and uncooperative behavior towards authority figures, like their parents or teachers. This type of behavior can be highly disruptive, disturbing their normal daily activities at home and at school.

For parents caring for a child with ODD, AGC Pediatrics understands this can be a very confusing and difficult time. The professionals at AGC Pediatrics seek to provide parents with the best information and resources for handling a child with ODD.

What are the Symptoms of Oppositional Defiant Disorder?

Symptoms of ODD may include, but are not limited to:

  • Throwing temper tantrums repeatedly and excessively
  • Deliberately trying to annoying or upset others
  • Excessively arguing with authority figures such as parents and teachers
  • Refusing to comply with rules and regulations
  • Seeking revenge on an ongoing basis
  • Having frequent outbursts, anger, and resentment
  • Blaming others for their mistakes on an ongoing basis

Oftentimes, children with ODD are angry, irritable, argumentative and defiant. Symptoms of ODD are usually seen in multiple settings, but are more noticeable at home or school. Only 1%-16% of school-age children and adolescents have ODD. Other behavioral issues such as depression, anxiety, learning disabilities, mood disorders and ADHD can accompany Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD). Causes of ODD are unknown, but biological, psychological and social factors may play a significant role.

Coping with ODD

Parents need support and understanding when it comes to assisting their children with coping with ODD. There are a number of ways that parents can help their child with ODD, such as:

  • Focus on positive reinforcement and give your child praise when it is due.
  • Take a break if you are making the conflict with your child worse, not better.
  • Pick your battles: A child with ODD has trouble avoiding power struggles, prioritize the things you want them to do.
  • Set up age-appropriate consequences and enforce them consistently.
  • Take time to manage your own stress with a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise and relaxation.

Contact AGC Pediatrics for ODD Diagnosis and Treatment

Many children with ODD will respond to these positive parenting techniques. It is important to experiment and find what works well for you and your family.

If you think that your child has ODD, schedule an appointment at one of our convenient locations in Calhoun or Cartersville, Georgia. In addition to our general practice, we specialize in cognitive and behavioral medicine and can offer advice and treatment options for your child.

Contact us at 706-625-5900 or ask us a question online using the patient portal.